What is a DUI?

Driving under the influence (DUI) cases are very technical. They occur when a person is arrested for driving an automobile at a time when they were incapable of safely operating their motor vehicle due to intoxication by alcohol, drugs or some combination. There is a particular seriousness to it because a charge in this area of law can have enormous effects on one’s employment. Many people’s jobs are dependent upon their ability to have an active license. With DUI cases, they are looking at a ninety day minimum first offense as well as an automatic criminal conviction if they are found guilty. If you were to refuse, you are looking at a six month minimum loss of license, but not necessarily be facing a criminal conviction. If you were convicted and, in the next five years, you have another DUI, the second offense will still be a misdemeanor but you could get ten days in jail. Additionally, the third offense is a felony.

Oftentimes, in Rhode Island driving under the influence is combined with the charge of breathalyzer refusal. The first offense refusal is a civil infraction. If a person did refuse in a case, they are almost always charged with both DUI and refusal. If you have a second offense with a refusal, that actually becomes a criminal matter and is no longer just a civil matter. The bottom line here is that there are enhancements to DUI and Refusal laws.

Are You Considered Guilty if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

You are not considered guilty of anything if you refuse a breathalyzer test. However, it does have an impact on your case. You can take a case to hearing and you can be successful in the breathalyzer refusal as well as the DUI charge. Even though it is not a criminal case, the government still has to prove their case against you. If you lose, you could lose your license for six months plus mandatory fines and may be required to attend alcohol education classes or alcohol treatment programs. There are few things of a civil nature that are more Draconian than that.

Do I Need an Attorney?

For a DUI offense, you absolutely need an attorney. Both the DUI and refusal to take a take a breathalyzer cases are very technical requiring an experienced attorney to evaluate every single step that was taken in the prosecution. Everything that the police did or did not do can be vitally important to the defense of the case.

Martineau Davis & Associates is committed to aggressive advocacy for our clients while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, take a proactive stance to learn your rights from an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will put the law on your side. Contact us at 401-398-8333.

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